Never in history have conflicts over Internet governance attracted such widespread attention. High-profile controversies include the disclosures about NSA surveillance by intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, controversy over a decision by the US government to relinquish its historic oversight of Internet names and numbers, and countless cybersecurity breaches involving unauthorized access to Internet users’ personal data. Much of the Internet governance ecosystem—both technical architecture and coordinating institutions—is behind the scenes but increasingly carries significant public interest implications. An area once concealed in institutional and technological complexity is now rightly bracketed among other shared global issues—such as environmental protection and human rights—that have considerable global implications but are simply incongruous with national borders. This transformation into an era of global governance by Internet infrastructure presents a moment of opportunity for scholars to bring these politicized infrastructures to the foreground. This volume brings together experts from around the world to provide coverage and analysis of infrastructure’s role in Internet governance, both now and in the future.
(Yale University Press 2014)
Internet governance conflicts are the new spaces where political and economic power is unfolding in the 21st century. Technologies of Internet governance increasingly mediate freedom of expression and individual privacy. They are entangled with national security and global commerce. The distributed nature of Internet governance technologies is shifting historic control over these public interest areas from sovereign nation-states to private ordering and new global institutions. The term “Internet governance” conjures up a host of global controversies such as the prolonged Internet outage in Syria during political turmoil or Google’s decision not to acquiesce to U.S. government requests to remove an incendiary political video from YouTube. It invokes narratives about the United Nations “taking over” the Internet, cybersecurity concerns about denial of service attacks, and the mercurial privacy policies of social media companies. These issues exist only at the surface of a technologically concealed and institutionally complex ecosystem of governance that is generally out of public view. This book explains how the Internet is currently governed, particularly through the sinews of power that exist in technical architecture and new global institutions, and presents several brewing Internet governance controversies that will affect the future of economic and expressive liberty.
Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance
(MIT Press 2009)
“Technical standards are among the most powerful and least understood features of the Internet. In Protocol Politics, Laura DeNardis shines a much needed light on their crucial role in our networked world, demonstrating how Internet standards affect civil liberties and shape global economic power, and how countries and corporations alike struggle with each other to influence and control them.”—Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law School
“In this remarkable, illuminating book, Laura DeNardis demonstrates that technoscience is politics and that Internet protocols are embedded with values, not simply ones and zeros. Protocol Politics offers a truly interdisciplinary perspective: DeNardis has a scientist’s grasp of the technology, the social scientist’s insight into the interests at stake, and the humanist’s concern to build an Internet that promotes human values. This is a must read for anyone interested in one of the most important political fights of the twenty-first century.”—Madhavi Sunder, UC-Davis
“How can a string of 32 (or 128) binary numbers get involved in international debates about the Global South, citizens’ rights, market economics, and Bush era unilateralism? In this lucid work, DeNardis weaves a wonderful tale about internet addressing-demonstrating the wider thesis that the arcane world of standards setting is a site of some of today’s great questions, and that we as citizens should understand and be engaged in these debates.”—Geoffrey C. Bowker, Mellon Professor of Cyberscholarship, School of Information Sciences, Univ. of Pittsburg.
“A fascinating account of a societywide technological upgrade that affects us all. DeNardis uses the ongoing drama of a new Internet protocol—IPv6—to explore in depth how standards and governance are related.”—Milton L. Mueller, Professor, School of Information Studies, Syracuse University
Openness is not a given on the Internet. Technical standards–the underlying architecture that enables interoperability among hardware and software from different manufacturers–increasingly control individual freedom and the pace of innovation in technology markets. Heated battles rage over the very definition of “openness” and what constitutes an open standard in information and communication technologies. In Opening Standards, experts from industry, academia, and public policy explore just what is at stake in these controversies, considering both economic and political implications of open standards. The book examines the effect of open standards on innovation, on the relationship between interoperability and public policy (and if government has a responsibility to promote open standards), and on intellectual property rights in standardization–an issue at the heart of current global controversies. Finally, Opening Standards recommends a framework for defining openness in twenty-first-century information infrastructures.
Information Engineering Textbook
Pelin Aksoy and Laura DeNardis
“The text is accessible, the concepts understandable – just what’s needed for a freshman-level text.”
“Fantastic job of treating an important, current technology topic at a reasonable level for an introductory IT textbook. I have not seen anything comparable yet in other textbooks directed at the target audience. The discussion of the different modes (soft IP phone, ATA-interfaced, etc.) is excellent and the Case Study at the end of the chapter is terrific and encourages students to actually “test drive” VoIP technology.”
“Overall this chapter is the best I’ve seen to-date at this level of discussion.”
“Terrific job! Complex concepts have been adequately covered and artfully explained for a first introductory treatment of communications systems.”
“The chapter takes a very practical and applied approach; it uses clear, detailed examples.”
“Great coverage and excellent writing style.”
“The topical coverage of current wireless technologies is excellent.”
Explore the expansive world of information technology (IT) with this innovative book that will engage as it educates. The purpose of Information Technology in Theory is threefold: to provide a comprehensive and engaging overview of cutting-edge information technologies, to identify and discuss the fundamental principles underlying these technologies, and to investigate the reciprocal relationship between these technologies and society. Unlike other books on the market that focus exclusively on either the non-technical, business aspects of IT or the technical, computer-focused aspects, this book presents technical information along with discussions of how this information plays a role in everyday business, economic, and social life. Using state-of-the-art technologies and real-world examples, coverage includes the fundamental principles of how computers work, the mathematical and physical properties underlying digital multimedia creation, networking technologies, and key social issues in network security. With this breadth of knowledge, readers will acquire a valuable framework for formulating their own opinions about the important issues that today’s IT environment raises.